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Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders explains what makes Jurgen Klopp so special

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has praised Jurgen Klopp's leadership after the Reds opened up an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Lijnders first moved to Anfield in 2014 during Brendan Rodgers's time in charge, before retaining his position in the backroom staff after Klopp's appointment the following year.

The Dutchman departed in January 2018 to take up a managerial role at NEC, but returned to Merseyside a few months later.

And Lijnders, who is one of two assistants alongside Peter Krawietz, has explained what it is like to work under Klopp.

"Jurgen is the leader and face of the team, the one who defines the character and who stimulates everyone. Pete [Krawietz] is responsible for the analysis and prepares everything in regards to videos which are shown to the players. I’m responsible for the training process.

“Together we decide what kind of aspects we want to develop for the team and then I create the exercises. It’s quite simple; it’s just about the continuing stimulation of our mentality to conquer the ball as quick and as high up the pitch as possible. That element comes back in every exercise. We as staff always try to find ways so the players can be more spontaneous and more creative.

“He was convinced we could conquer a lot together,” he added, explaining what Klopp said to him before his return to Anfield last year. “Jurgen can touch someone straight to the heart. He knows exactly what he wants and when we were on the phone it felt just right.

"He is able to give a completely different perception to a situation inside a few minutes. We lost 3-0 [against Barcelona (opens in new tab) in the first leg of last season's Champions League semi-final] , but afterwards Jürgen said in the dressing room: ‘The only team in the world who can overturn this defeat against Barcelona is us.’

"It gave the squad a boost, also because of the way we had played that night. When the players walked towards the coach there was already a different feeling.”

Liverpool (opens in new tab) take on local rivals Everton (opens in new tab) on Wednesday, before a trip to Bournemouth (opens in new tab) this weekend.

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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).